I grew up in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn, specifically, on Lincoln Place between Albany and Troy Avenues. Back in the ’80’s, my hood was New Jack City, cats getting popped left and right, fighting to claim the corners, in the drug game, Troy Avenue was prime property. In the ’90’s, Troy Avenue was Zombie Land. Less bullets flying, but the block was filled with spaced out base heads. Shit was really bad, my mom’s vowed never to go down that end of the block again. Please believe, it was not a pretty sight.

These days, my block has some white faces, a whole lot more Hassidic Jews too. Cops stay on every corner, stationed to protect the neighborhood’s new residents of a lighter shade, but Troy Avenue still stays kinda hot. The more things change, the more things stay the same. A few years ago, I heard of a new young spitta named Troy Ave. Heard about him because he had just signed to the then mighty Def Jam label. On account of how he had sold more than 40,000 units independently. For a New York cat to sell that much when New York cats never sell records, Def Jam invested wisely. Unfortunately, things fell apart, what with the Roc wrapping up, Lyor Cohen and crew bouncing to the Warner Music Group and what not. Troy Ave never got his chance to shine. Still, just like his namesake, he repped my hood hard, tales of drug sales, stacking paper, new Benzes, all that. From the gate, I dug cat’s style.

I met dude last summer, while I was making an appearance on the PNC internet radio station. Dude impressed me with the way he presented himself on air, mos def a young star in the making. Plus dude paid mad respect to me, knowing my background, my history. Last week he hit me with his latest video, “Money Cars Hoes Clothes”. I peeped, thought it was cool. Troy Ave still reps Troy Ave well. Personally, I’m not into the cocaine rap thing that tuff, but dude has talent. I’m looking forward to when Troy takes his skills, his star power, and expands his horizons, way beyong the four corners that is Troy Avenue.

That watch piece he’s sporting is killer.